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BD240Z

Dash Repair Process/Pictures

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Nothing like jumping onto a 4 year old thread, but I am going to do this process to 2 dashes this weekend, and will seel one...gotta raise some funds!

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Hello. I am in the process of repairing my dash as well and I just wanted to share something. I am using the Bondo brand bumper repair kit.(similar to SEM). Yesterday I had the dash laying on my bench about 4' high and this morning when i came out to the garage it was laying on the ground. I thought for sure it was ruined. To my surprise it held up perfectly. No cracks at all. This stuff is strong and I see this as a permanent fix.

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I ended up using Evercoat flexible poly for my coating. I saw lots of posts about NAPA and Bondo, etc, but those didn't have enough product for what I was wanting. Lots o cracks. It sands well, which was a concern of mine. I will post pics as soon as I get it finished. Thanks for the inspiration!

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I attempted a repair with SEM bumper repair and was shocked just how fast it set up. I did manage to get a butt joint bond to the vinyl on two of the three cracks. I thought this might be sufficient as I had stop drilled the ends of the cracks.

The repairs last a matter of weeks before the butt joints failed and a hairline crack re-appeared. Considering the thinness of the crack, I tried filled with crazy glue filled with micro-balloons used in model aircraft. This also failed. At first I thought it was caused by heat, but over time I've noticed the cracks widen on a cold night and close up in the hot summer sun.

I have come to realize that the butt joint will never be strong enough using any kind of adhesive due to the small bonding area. The would indicate a lap joint is needed by inserting a piece of plastic bridging both sides of the crack. Getting good pressure to achieve a good bond would problematic when pressing against the soft, deteriorating foam rubber.

I recalled Edd China doing a front plastic bumper cover repair on Wheeler Dealers. He made a point of drilling holes on each side of the crack so that the epoxy not only spanned across the crack, but also through the hole.

The Six10 material looks promising. I'm contemplating adding a substrate to for a lap joint, adding through holes, and securing the substrate with sheet metal screws while waiting for the epoxy to set up. After its sets up, I'll remove the screws and fill the holes with more Six10.

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I've been watching this thread for a long time and would like to do my dash. Currently it has a full dash cap that I've tried multiple methods to remove(dash is still in the car), I've let it sit outside in the sun, tried a heat gun(don't do this) tried prying and pulling and no luck so far it appears that when the cap was put on, it was slavered with glue on the top but not much on the bottom end. Any suggestions, besides take the dash out and just rip it off?

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Did you take the metal plate off the front of the dash where it meets the windshield? I imagine that w/o doing that, you'd have a very hard time getting the cap off.

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Well, I wonder if anyone has done a custom dash? I want to see pics of creations if so. We are considering a new flat aluminum face with hardwood cap either varnished or wrapped in leather. Custom center console to match.

The father-son resto of a '72 with '83 turbo ...

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So, I figured I could do this on my roadster same as everyone else has done for their Z dashes. Sure enough, the final product came out looking pretty nice. I am very happy with the results. I must say, however, this was really a lot of work only because the dash seemed to be pretty warped. It wasn’t just a matter of cutting and filling the cracks, that part was pretty easy and took me about 3 Bumper bite applications to finish. The warped dash however was very obvious and took about 6 more iterations of Bumper Bite to get resolved, meaning it was a lot of work.:ermm:

Then, after putting on the second coat of texture paint and hanging to dry, the dash came un-hooked and dropped two feet to the concrete, resulting in two more applications of Bumper Bite on the end and repaint. :cry: Anyway, once the paint was on everything was looking pretty good. The texture finish is matte and picks up all finger prints that touch it so I put a couple coats of clear over the texture spray. That works out pretty well and gives the final finish which is a bit glossy, but very nice.:D

I also go the original 44 year old clock working. I took the little motor apart and notice the gunk on the armature where the two brushes contact. I cleaned the gunk off with carb cleaner and used electronics cleaner spray on the mechanism and the clock started right up when I applied 12 volts. Pretty cool. After 24 hours it seems to run a couple minutes fast, but it is still running.

Anyway, here are the pics. Hope to have the dash with gauges and glove box assembled and on car in the next week here or so. Making some pretty good progress.

Rich

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My dash was in need of some love so I followed the dash repair techniques on this forum and I think it came out really good. Not perfect but 100X better than it was. I ended up spending about $100 on materials and a good week or 2 of working on it here and there.

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Edited by HaZmatt
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I'm gonna be pulling the dash from my Z this weekend and try this out, but i was wondering what y'all did to get the shape back in the pod holes? cause mine are out of round, do i just pull it till its right or is there a better way of doing this?

Thanks!

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I recently did my 280Z dash. It came out pretty good for the 1st time attempting something like this. It looks way better than a dash cap, that's a definite. I used great stuff to fill the cracks, the padded dash filler and flexible dash texture from Urethane Supply Company. Stuff is very flexible, almost like rubber. I Da'd it all smooth. I also used speedhut gauges for the tach and speedo. If you use a 4" DWV cap (it has a flat end, not rounded) from ace hardware, the hole saw for the gauge cutout fits just about perfects inside the cap, so it sort of self centers, to fit the gauge in, you have to file off the knubs on the locking ring for the gauge, then that's a tight fit inside the cap, and the cap OD is about 1/16" smaller than the gauge pod ID, so it all fits together just about perfect.

Padded Dash Filler

Flextex VT Texture Spray

Edited by socorob

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I'm getting ready to try this on the dash pad of my 1970 Ford Falcon. Am wondering what people are using to remove the old, cracked, portions prior to filling them with the Great Stuff?

Didn't want to post any photos of my current pad since it's not a "Z" car, but will if the community approves.

Thanks in advance,

Otto...

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I'm getting ready to try this on the dash pad of my 1970 Ford Falcon. Am wondering what people are using to remove the old, cracked, portions prior to filling them with the Great Stuff?

Didn't want to post any photos of my current pad since it's not a "Z" car, but will if the community approves.

Thanks in advance,

Otto...

I used a dremel with a small bit.

Steve

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I used a dremel with a small bit.

Steve

Thanks for the reply, Steve.

I was thinking about using my Dremel, but wasn't sure what type of bit to use. Would you use a stone type, or a metal cutting bit similar to a die grinder type?

Otto...

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Thanks for the reply, Steve.

I was thinking about using my Dremel, but wasn't sure what type of bit to use. Would you use a stone type, or a metal cutting bit similar to a die grinder type?

Otto...

I used the tungsten steel solid carbide burr bits.

Steve

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I've just finished my dash project. Will post pix and notes later, when time allows. I tried a lot of different bits in my Dremel when working on the vinyl overlay (which is ~ 1/16" thick). It's very a tricky process. Too aggressive with bit choice/speed results in melting rather than abrading, and creates a mess. The goal is to feather-edge the vinyl so that the top-coat filler (I used SEM Bumper-Bite) has a good edge to bond onto. In the end, I found that an engraving-type bit (all-metal, ball-tip -- not the textured tip -- the one I had good results with looks like it's fluted, like a drill bit) with medium-low rpm worked best. My attempts with various rotary sanding discs were unsuccessful (too easy to overshoot the vinyl and accidentally create unwanted deep gouges into the old foam underlay). This job requires a lot of patience to do right. I used a cable-type extension drive, hooked up to my Dremel tool, in order to get the bit at the right cutting angle. Remember to wear safety glasses (a small chip of vinyl cutting lodged in the eye is not a happy experience - don't ask me how I know this).

Be sure that you cut back the vinyl and oem foam far enough away on each side of the crack to get past the curled-up area. Otherwise, you'll end up with a big problem when you start sanding. Avoid cutting too deep into the oem foam during this cut-back process, Otherwise, you'll end up having to use too deep a layer of Bumper-Bite (which, by the way, isn't really all that flexible). Aim for a depth of Bumper-Bite fill that's no more than 3/16".

Important FYI - Even though the textured bedliner paint looks like it will mask small mistakes in your sanding/contouring job, you may as well know right now that it doesn't. Be sure to put a full primer coat over the sanded areas of your dash before you even think about reaching for the bedliner spray can. Then take a long, hard look at your work under natural sunlight before you proceed to the bedliner spray (shop lighting won't tell you the whole story).

I found that sanding the Bumper-Bite to get true contours over the arches of the gauge clusters was r-e-a-l-l-y difficult to get right (you'll be working with a combination of concave, convex and flat surfaces -- the convex ones being the most difficult to get right). Recommend you get a set of hard-foam sanding blocks from Eastwood for this job. There's one in this set that has an onion-type cross-section that works really well for the concave and flat surfaces of this job. However, none of these blocks is suitable for the convex contours of the gauge bezel peaks. I recommend you find a piece of properly contoured thick rubber for this part of the job (go to the plumbing section of your hardware store and look for a large-diameter rubber pipe-joint, and then cut a small section out as your sanding pad).

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My dash had three, full-span cracks and that was what made me decide to do the repair. However, when I had the dash out and sitting on my workbench under good lighting, I found a few tiny hairline cracks (~ 1/16" long) along the forward (windshield) edge. My guess is that these little cracks are the way that the big cracks get started. All I did was grind out the vinyl top surface locally so that the ends of each little crack got round edges. What I would end up with in each case was a cut in the vinyl that was the width of the tip of my Dremel bit ( ~ 1/8") and -- in length -- a little bit longer than the original hairline crack. The ball-shape of the Dremel bit automatically gave me the rounding that I wanted at each end of the crack.

If you've got a long hairline crack (I've never seen this -- they usually open up, starting from the windshield and getting wider as they track towards the gauge openings), you still need to: 1) 'V' the edges of the vinyl all along the length of the crack (so that you filler coat has something to bond to), and; 2) round off the end of the crack, to stop it from growing any further. You should probably try to fiberglass along the underside of the dash foam too (that is, if you can access the crack area from underneath), because a long hairline crack is almost certainly going to grow as the old foam shrinks and pulls back (and Bumper-Bite filler on the top isn't going to stop this from happening).

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Thanks so much for the detailed information. This is really helpful. I ordered the ball-shaped Dremel bit that you suggested and waiting for delivery.

Thanks

Larry

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